Friday, December 14, 2007

Annapolis/India: Hope I am Wrong

To close out the week--

Have we lost all momentum from the Annapolis meeting last month? Are we back to "business as usual" in the Middle East? Lebanese General Fran├žois al-Hajj was buried today. Is Lebanon returning to some degree of de facto Syrian suzerainty?

Perhaps there are frantic and feverish negotiations taking place in private that I don't know about--and that would be wonderful--that would lay out an agenda for the follow-up meeting in Moscow and keep the Middle East process moving forward.

The Indian newspapers carry the U.S. "spin" on the nuclear deal; that all we are seeing is politics as usual and everything is on track. I hope they are right. The Indian Right and the Indian Left have both invoked sovereignty as their watchword for opposing the deal--the Right not wanting to lose the ability for India to develop its nuclear deterrent, the Left wanting India to have an "independent" foreign policy. Will this dynamic change in 2008?

I'm happy to be wrong--but I don't see dramatic breakthroughs coming in either case.

On India you are correct; the deal is dead.

On the Middle East; the Israel-Arab track is also dead.

Lebanon track, Hamas-Fatah reconcilation, Iran-Iraq-US Track, and Iran-Arab track are all moving forward.
But Lebanon track, Hamas-Fatah, Iran-Arab--how much of this is taking place outside purview of Washington?
Not sure of that; but I cannot fathom the degree to which S.A. is independently acting vs. coordination with Washington.
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